Help With Magic

Discussion in 'General Fantasy' started by Wonderfulhugs, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Wonderfulhugs

    Wonderfulhugs Fred The Sabertooth

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    Hello everyone! I am currently working on my own series of books and I would like to make magic a large part of it. But I don't know much about the limits of magic or how magic actually works. I have read a few things and some of them contradict each other. I would like to see what fantasy lovers think about magic and how it works. Like how is it used, what are it's limits, how does it effect people and the environment? Stuff like that. If you have anything at all to say please do. I'm interested in everything you guys and gals can tell me. I'm a new writer and I want to make sure I do magic the right way in my books.
     
  2. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    I'd say if you're creating your own magic system you can basically do whatever you want - unless it becomes over-the-top or implausible in a way, if that makes sense. The system in itself has to make sense, has to be consistent, however fantastical it might be.

    What could help are the following notions of 'real-life' magic (what anthropologists would call magic with regard to primitive peoples, for instance): Magic is usually a combination of theory and practice - you might be able to study magic theoretically, but it only becomes magic if carried out in an act. Those magical acts combine (at least) verbal utterances and physical acts, and sometimes also include objects that represent something else in the ritual, something related to the desired effect.
    Anthropologist James George Frazer classified sympathetic magic, according to which magical rituals always work according to one of two laws: the law of similarity (like produces like), and the law of contagion (cause resembles desired effect). Whereas we might fail to see the relation between cause and effect of a magical ritual, those laws establish a certain causality.
    Some scholars say magic is usually secretive, if not prohibited, and that it could easily become religious if carried out in a public ritual. The differentiation between magic and religion might be relevant for your books. After all, there are fantasy series which feature a strong enmity between the two systems (sort of representing the clash between pagan magic and Christian religion (although that wasn't always a clash, but I digress :D).

    Now, magic in fantasy literature might usually look very different from this, but it might at least help you find a type of magic you'd like to use. I think it would be best to create your own type of magic rather than picking one that is already existent in some other work (which might cause people to criticise you for 'stealing' ideas or something), but of course you can always find inspiration in the works and theories of others. :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  3. Wonderfulhugs

    Wonderfulhugs Fred The Sabertooth

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    Why thank you for your response. I appreciate it. I'm going to take your advice and try to come up with my own way magic works. And in my books there is religion and followers of certain religions can do some types of magic. There is no Christianity or earthly religions though because my books take place in a world called Ryend. The religions I will have are all made up. Still working on that aspect actually lol. Writing a book takes alot a lot of work but it's fun. The magic I will use in my books will include rituals and some will demand sacrifices and others will use energy stored in the body. Some might even tax the mind for using. Not sure yet. Thanks for the inspiration though.
     
  4. Clair St.Claire

    Clair St.Claire New Member

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    I know I'm late but wanted to say, I agree with Firiath. If you are making up the magic yourself, you ought to do what you like with it. Fantasy alone is an extension of belief, so there are no general rules or guidelines you must follow--that's the fun part for readers. Every Fantasy has a measure of individuality because it is all in the mind of the author. People will like your work because it is apart of you.
    Have fun! And, yes, writing a book is hard--it takes a lot of devotion--but when you complete it and look at your work, it will all be worth it. Trust me!
     
  5. froboy69

    froboy69 New Member

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    Well the limits of magic is really up to you; rules and conditioning does have a mainstream outlook on, "if you want to make this happen, this has to be occurring too". But realistically you just have to make conditions for whatever form of magic you want.

    Try this idea: the stricter the 'rule' of using said magic in whatever form, the more 'powerful' it is. For example, if you use chains on one who is a member of a particular group, those chains cannot be broken by them nor resisted. Overpowered right? But the catch: if you use this chain on any who isn't a member of said group, you die.
     
  6. Cephalophore

    Cephalophore New Member

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    I made a post here on Oct 8th, linking to a bunch of webpages with info about making a magic system... But apparently because of the links it needs to be vetoed by the mods first, but it still hasn't been approved. I wonder where the mods are?

    But anyway I would recommend Googling "making a magic system", and then checking out the results. Specifically the TV tropes page, the io9 article and the Holly Lisle article. Good luck with it!
     
  7. froboy69

    froboy69 New Member

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    Good question; I can't find the mods myself and request permission to post my story. :confused: